Texas House opts not to cut veterans education benefits



By Eva Ruth Moravec

Texas lawmakers on Sunday opted to water down a major attempt to reduce the rising costs of a program offering free college tuition to veterans’ children, relenting amid criticism that cutting the benefits too deeply wouldn’t be fair to those who sacrifice so much.

Fiscal conservatives have insisted for months that severe rollbacks would be necessary to maintain the sustainability of the so-called Hazlewood Act higher education program. But after two hours of heated debate, the House sponsor of the proposed cuts, Rep. John Zerwas, decided his original plan went too far and began working on a compromise measure.

His new proposal passed 137-0 in the early evening, drawing applause from many in the chamber.

“This will allow us to resolve the immediate pressing problem with Hazlewood,” said Rep. Kenneth Sheets, a Dallas Republican who opposed Zerwas’ original plan, but supported the new version.

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